The Southwestern Medical District in Dallas, Texas is home to world-renowned hospitals and is a place of innovation, hope and healing. But, step outside of these remarkable institutions and into the streetscape, and a less vibrant and healthy story emerges.
The Texas Trees Foundation is rewriting the story by leading a visionary, therapeutic landscape redesign to transform the antiquated Harry Hines corridor into a vibrant, connected and safe multi-model linear parkway with a 10-acre park. Through the lens of a robust equitable engagement process, the holistic restructuring will focus on evidence-based design that enhances the environment, uplifts adjoining neighborhoods and businesses, spurs economic development and nurtures the body, mind and spirit of the more than 4 million individuals who experience the district annually.
Why do this? Because Texas Trees Foundation wants to increase the quality of life in the district by deepening one’s connection with their natural surroundings to better thrive in the ecosystem of their community.
At Texas Trees Foundation (TTF), we are committed to connecting people with trees in their everyday life to create healthier and stronger communities. This mission has brought TTF to Dallas’ Southwestern Medical District (“the District”), an area of the City lacking any notable green space. In 2015, a study done by TTF showed the district to be one of the largest urban heat islands in the City, with less than 7% tree canopy to mitigate the negative effects of heat on human health.
Scientific research has found that trees and nature help improve and stimulate the immune system which helps to reduce stress, improving mental health, focus and cognitive function. In addition, a trees shade promotes active lifestyles, reduces urban heat island effect, diminishes environmental noise, improves safety, and creates a stronger community.
The genesis of this project was rooted in improving human health for all community members – the patients, doctors, nurses, staff, students, residents, visitors, business owners, patrons, etc. (“the community”) – because they are the lifeblood of the District.